Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

December 8, 2022

Sen. Lesser Welcomes Final Approval of $12 Million for Riverfront Project; Support for Middletown and Rocky Hill Projects

Additional State Funding Approved to Support the Department of Veterans Affairs Campus in Rocky Hill and Middlesex Community College

Today, state Senator Matt Lesser, who represents Middletown and Rocky Hill, welcomed Governor Lamont’s and the State Bond Commission’s approval of state funding for several projects in Middletown and Rocky Hill. The projects will benefit services for veterans, building and infrastructure improvements, education, and community development.

Among the several items was the final approval of $12 million to support the “Return to the Riverbend” Project in Middletown. The board of the state’s Community Investment Fund 2030 (CIF) signed off on project in September 2022 and recommended to Governor Lamont that the project receive approval of the $12 million state investment. The project would reconnect the community to the riverfront by redeveloping 220 acres of land located in downtown Middletown along the Connecticut River.

“The Return to the Riverbend Project will have a profound impact for the residents of Middletown and better connect neighborhoods to the riverfront. My thanks to Governor Lamont and the State Bond Commission for their support of this significant investment in Middletown’s future. It’s a major boost for the city’s economic growth and access to outdoor recreation,” said Sen. Lesser. “I’m thankful as well for the funding approval to support upgrades at several community centers in Middletown and Rocky Hill including the Department of Veterans Affairs main campus. This funding will yield long-term benefits.”

“This Riverfront project is big news for folks who live Middletown, including all of the small businesses in the area that will benefit from the improvements that will be made here,” Governor Lamont said. “This neighborhood in Middletown is gorgeous and a redevelopment of this kind is long overdue. I am glad that we could get this state funding to the city so that we could make this happen.”

The CIF funding for “Return to the Riverbend” would be used to complete remediation of the Peterson Oil Property, the Waste Water Treatment Plan, and Jackson Corrugated Container at 225 River Road, one of the few properties outside of the floodplain suitable for mixed use development. Also, funds will support engineering and design for public spaces, unlock 50 acres of public park space and 7 miles of pedestrian and bike friendly pathways. Furthermore, Middletown is seeking to construct a new Middletown High School Boathouse and create public access of the riverfront along Rt 9.

Additional projects approved for funding include:

  • $1.06 million – Boiler system improvements and rental, along with emergency and minor capital projects as needed, at the Department of Veterans Affair’s main campus in Rocky Hill
  • $2 million – Replacement of tower structure at Rocky Hill Veterans Home
  • $2.5 million – Finance advanced manufacturing equipment improvements and replacements, and facility improvements at Middlesex Community College in Middletown,
  • Capital Community College in Hartford, and Tunxis Community College in Farmington
  • $300,000 – Support designing of a roof replacement for Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown